According to Reuters, Usher and the Biebs are facing a $10 million suit following claims that they lifted portions of a pair of Virginia songwriters' music without permission. The song in question, "Somebody To Love," was apparently recorded several times by both Usher, Bieber, and together jointly after the songwriters' version was played for Usher in 2008.
"After listening to the Copeland song and the Bieber and Usher songs as wholes, we conclude that their choruses are similar enough and also significant enough that a reasonable jury could find the songs intrinsically similar," a circuit judge wrote of the decision.
While the songwriters, a singer who goes by the name of De Rico and his writing partner Mareio Overton, originally presented the material as an R&B track, the judge approved the lawsuit despite the fact that the final versions from Bieber and Usher transformed the song into "dance pop, perhaps with hints of electronica." The judge claims that to rule against the lawsuit because of the genre shift would open up a legal precedent for other artists to cover protected material by transforming the "concept and feel," like in the case of unlicensed heavy metal covers of The Beatles' "Hey Jude."